Irish Immigrants and Politics

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Tammany Hall was founded in 1789, and was highly supported by the newly arriving Irish immigrants from the mid 1800s to its end in the mid 1900s. In fact, from 1872 onward, Tammany Hall had Irish "bosses," with William M. "Boss" Tweed being the most infamous and notorious leader of the history of Tammany Hall. Although he was known to be corrupted, he was still loved by the Irish immigrants because he did keep his promises and helped them in many ways during his years in office. Tammany Hall's influence slowly diminished in the 20th century. In 1932, Mayor Jimmy Walker was forced from office, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stripped Tammany of federal patronage. Republican Fiorello La Guardia was elected Mayor and became the first anti-Tammany Mayor to be re-elected. By the mid-1960s, Tammany Hall ceased to exist.[1]

Jimmy Walker, 97th Mayor: 1926—1932
Jimmy Walker, 97th Mayor: 1926—1932

New York City Mayors of Irish Decent

• James Duane

• William Jay Gaynor

• Thomas F. Gilroy (Irish-born)

• William R. Grace (Irish-born)

• John F. Hylan

• John Purroy Mitchel

• John P. O'Brien

• William O'Dwyer (Irish-born)

• James "Jimmy" Walker

New York City Politicians of Irish Decent

Al Smith, 42nd Governor: 1919-1920, 1923-1938
Al Smith, 42nd Governor: 1919-1920, 1923-1938

• James Buckley: U.S. Senator, Federal Judge

• Hugh Carey: Governor of New York

• James B. Comey: Deputy Attorney General of the United States

• Patrick Fitzgerald: district attorney

• Charles J. Hynes: District Attorney for Kings County

• Daniel Patrick Moynihan: U.S. Senator

• Charles O'Conor: former presidential candidate

• Al Smith: four-time governor (the first Catholic Presidential candidate)